TRAIN passengers should expect a significant disruption this weekend as repair work continues following a landslip.

South Western Railway has advised people not to travel between Salisbury and Exeter St David's on Saturday, 9, and Sunday, 10 December.

The warning comes after 90mm of rain caused a landslip and severe flooding at Crewkerne tunnel, West of England Line, on Monday, December 4, closing the train line between Salisbury and Exeter.

Engineers began repair work on Tuesday using ropes to abseil down the cutting and start removing vegetation.

Salisbury Journal: A major excavation is underway.A major excavation is underway. (Image: Network Rail)

They must excavate 300 tonnes of clay, soil and vegetation from around the tunnel entrance to help stabilise the cutting.

A 150-tonne crane and a long-reach excavator was expected to arrive on site on Friday, December 8, to help with the removal.

If works go to plan over the weekend, the railway will reopen on Monday morning, December 11, which would reinstate through services to Exeter, but with a 20mph speed restriction to keep customers safe.

Read the Journal's live coverage of the landslip here

Network Rail has urged customers to check before they travel on Monday.

It came after another landslip at Woking which was detected by electronic sensors on Thursday, November 30.

Matt Pocock, Network Rail Wessex route director, has assured he and his team are doing everything they can to carry out the repairs.

He said: “I’m incredibly sorry for the tough time our customers have experienced this past week owing to the landslips at Crewkerne and Woking, which have either closed or significantly reduced services on two key commuter lines across our route.

“While we’re very confident we can return both railways to our customers on Monday, these are complex repairs, and more work will need to be done, therefore I’d urge everyone to check before they travel next week to be on the safe side.”

Salisbury Journal: Crewkerne tunnel.Crewkerne tunnel. (Image: Network Rail)

Steve Tyler, South Western Railway performance and planning director, said: “We are advising customers not to attempt to travel between Salisbury and Exeter St David’s on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 December.

"This is because only a very limited shuttle service is operating between Salisbury and Yeovil Junction, and rail replacement bus services are still subject to disruption due to flooding on local roads.

“We’re very sorry for the disruption our customers have experienced in recent weeks and are very grateful for their patience.”